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Down Under Grip Breaks With Matt D’Aquino

Down Under Grip Breaks With Matt D’Aquino


Break Grips Using The Cross Grip Formula

The Cross Grip is a great way to throw your opponent or training partners off. Switching to this unorthodox tactic mid-match can have its drawbacks, but if used correctly it can offer a unique perspective on many of your tried-and-true techniques. If you are looking for a way to open new attack avenues while keeping your opponent off-guard, the Cross Grip is for you. 

Matt D’Aquino recently added another classic to his instructional catalogue with The Cross Grip Formula. Thankfully for us the former Olympian, is here to break down how he uses the cross grip to help alleviate dominant grips. Check it out below!


Breaking grips is an essential skill for ANY Jiu-Jitsu or Judo player. If your opponent can successfully use grips to gain an advantage over you, there is an increased likelihood that you will get thrown. Matt uses two distinct methods to break his training partner’s grip, movement and proper hand placement. 

Remember it's important to practice efficiently if you hope to get better at Judo. If you grip with 100% strength you are going to quickly fatigue and possibly injure your hand. This is especially true if you are just learning how to break grips. By replicating the techniques D’Aquino demonstrates from his instructional, The Cross Grip Formula, you WILL be breaking grips in a powerful manner. 

So what to do when you break the grip off of your lapel and you are left with the cross grip? Matt demonstrates a slick Tai Otoshi using the cross grip, as well as the same sleeve grip from the previous grip break. Check it out!


From the grip break you can immediately start to push your opponent’s arm into their hip with your sleeve grip. This allows you to get to the side of your opponent. Now that you have outflanked the opposition they will have to address the predicament you have placed them in. Most people aren’t going to simply allow you access to their back, and will react by squaring up with you. It is at this moment Matt looks to turn into Tai Otoshi. 

The versatility of the cross grip is on full display with D’Aquino’s Tai Otoshi demonstration. The cross grip allows a good amount of mobility while simultaneously providing control over your opponent’s upper body. This mobility allows D’Aquino to backstep and immediately turn into Tai Otoshi or Seoi Nage as his partner squares up with him. 

To smooth out the sequence practice getting back to chest with your training partner. You can also mix in the initial grip break to create a more complete sequence. Timing and footwork are going to play a pivotal role in hitting this in competition. Uchikomi can play a big part in smoothing your attack sequences out. 

Cross Grip Formula by Matt D'Aquino
The Cross Grip Formula is a complete attack plan brought to you by Olympian Matt D’Aquino. Learn to out-flank and out-gun the opposition with the tactical Cross Grip!